Israel Exploration Society

“Carried in the air by a great extension.” This is how sixth-century historian Procopius described the stone vaults that supported the southeastern part of the Nea, which extended beyond the bedrock on top of the hill. Excavating just inside the Old City wall (on the other side from Ben-Dov), Avigad excavated these massive structures in 1976 (see photo during excavation). The vaults (entered by a long set of stairs) were later converted into a cistern to supply the Nea’s monastery and hospice.